Raiders Fire GM Reggie McKenzie

The Raiders have parted ways with GM Reggie McKenzie, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). McKenzie was given the chance to stay on board for the rest of the season, but it sounds like he’ll leave his post immediately. 

Rumors have circulated about McKenzie’s job security since the hiring of Jon Gruden in the offseason. The talk has picked up in recent weeks, though Gruden did his best to throw water on the fire when speaking to reporters on Sunday.

I don’t have any comment on that,” Gruden said (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal). “We’re going to build this team back. I know that. We’re going to bring the Raiders back.”

At the time of Gruden’s hiring, owner Mark Davis insisted the two men would work in concert. That’s not how things played out. Gruden, who had control over the 53-man roster, brought in his own scouting staff including Dave Razzano, the club’s “Director of Football Research.”

McKenzie, a former NFL linebacker, worked for the Packers’ front office from 1994 through 2012. After that, he was hired as the Raiders’ GM, inheriting a team with an awful cap situation and depleted draft capital. McKenzie was not perfect, but he did manage to turn that club into a playoff team. Now that he’s on the open market, one can’t help but wonder if a return to the Packers is in the cards.

With Gruden and his own group of hand-picked advisors at the helm, the Raiders overhauled their roster this offseason, including the controversial trade of Khalil Mack to the Bears. The Raiders have lots of picks in the 2019 draft, but they don’t have a lot of 2018 wins after Gruden targeted over-the-hill free agents and benched many of them in favor of younger players.

On Sunday, the Raiders upset the Steelers (thanks in large part to Chris Boswell‘s slip) and improved to 3-10 on the year. If the season ended today, the Raiders would pick third and twice more in the first round (No. 25, 26) thanks to the trades of Mack and Amari Cooper.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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28 comments on “Raiders Fire GM Reggie McKenzie

  1. jeb39999

    I think it is possible that Reggie’s firing will have zero effect on the team.

    • crosseyedlemon

      It moves Derek Carr to the head of the line as Gruden’s next fall guy, so that is likely to have some effect.

  2. connfyoozed

    Gee, you don’t suppose that they were waiting for a win so that they could announce the firing of McKenzie right afterward and maybe have less attention called to it, so you?

  3. JJB0811

    I can’t until Gruden realizes that he is the problem. Still waiting for anyone to name 1 QB this guru has developed. Funny how Dallas is now leading the NFC East and the Bears are playoff teams. What charged their direction this year…..oh yeah, former Raiders!

      • SKbreesy

        Gannon was in the league for 10 years before playing for Gruden. He didn’t develop him.

        Horrible comment 10/10 would agree you shouldn’t comment again.

        • Steezy

          Gannon was awful prior coming to the raiders and gruden then developed him into an all pro qb. You get 0/10 too

          • nigg3rphish

            Hyperbole flying around on all sides here… Gannon never got a real shot before Gruden but he was phenomenal in the short bursts in which he made it on the field. As a Raider fan, I remember being terrified whenever we hit Grbac hard enough to knock him out of the game bc Rich would come in and carve us up. He was so effective at it we finally just signed him away to play for us. That said, Gruden certainly deserves a substantial amount of credit for helping him leap to MVP status, but it was primarily lack of opportunity and not lack of talent that lead Rich to carry that journeyman tag he had on him prior to his time in Oakland.

          • jjabrony

            Can’t we all just get along and give you you both 5/10 for your mediocre comments?

  4. Michael Chaney

    His time in Green Bay would have overlapped with Dorsey and some of the guys in the Browns’ front office, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up there either

  5. tsolid

    Gruden should win Executive of the year. He’s the mastermind behind 2 playoff contenders, being the Cowboys/Bears.

  6. Mr_KLC

    For his sake, Gannon better hope he hits home runs on all 3 of those 1st round picks.

  7. julyn82001

    You don’t paid a coach 100 mill hoping he will sit there doing nothing…

  8. victorg

    I mean at the time a lot of experts thought the cowboys over paid for cooper so I would say Gruden “won” that trade … NOW on the mack trade I mean sometimes there are those players that transcend value and it appears Mack is one of those BUT for how long remains to be seen… but I am sure we can all agree that you put MACK back on this team and they are 6-7 at best .. I mean it still does not change the fact that Carr has regressed and pretty much as zero trade value.

    • darquee

      The experts who were saying the Cowboys overpaid were thinking that pick would be at the top of the 1st round because the Cowboys had a losing record at the time. Cooper changed all of that by showing that apparently his lack of productivity with the Raiders had more to do with the Raiders and Derek Carr than with Cooper.

      • tsolid

        Thank you….Cooper’s presence has opened up the running game, extended drives, giving the defense more time to rest and be more efficient. He affect on the team has been wide ranging.

      • sfgfan101214

        Ironic….the better Cooper plays the more the boys will win, the worse the pick gets!

  9. darquee

    It is highly unlikely that the Raiders will get players of anywhere near the ability of Mack and Cooper at the 25th and 26th picks in the 1st round. Mack and Cooper especially turned the Bears and Cowboys into much better teams which immediately devalued the picks the Raiders got in return. But what the heck, he’s got 10 years to get it turned around.

    • It doesn’t look like the Raiders/Gruden accounted for the effect that Mack and Cooper would have on the promised draft picks. A delicious bit of irony there.

      On the other hand, draft picks are not just about talent. Mack and Cooper would be cleaning out almost all the cap space, preventing the Raiders from resigning all the mid-tier talents who keep a team running and/or signing other free agents.

      Next year Amari Cooper will make a minimum $13,924,000 (on existing contract, before a new contract is negotiated or signed). Khalil Mack costs $24 million per year starting next year. That’s 1/4 of a team’s cap space spent on two players. Good luck putting together a winning roster with that much gone on just two players (plus Carr is at that level).

      • crosseyedlemon

        Your cap allocation estimate is a bit on the high side but the point you are making is valid. In 2019 the Falcons will carry Matt Ryan at 23MM plus Julio Jones at about 13.5MM. That will eat up roughly 19% of their available cap.

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